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Coping With the Loss of a Loved One to Mesothelioma

by Richard Moyle
(Orando, Florida, United States)

Losing a loved one to cancer (or any other disease) is incredibly difficult for anyone. You occasionally wonder, “Why them? Why did this have to happen to that person?” It’s even more difficult when there’s reason to believe the cancer or illness could have been prevented.

This is the case with a rare cancer known as mesothelioma. The only recognized origin for this type of cancer is exposure to a naturally occurring mineral known as asbestos. Asbestos was valued because of its sturdiness and resistance to fire and it was widely used for the majority of the 20th century in a number of military and industrial applications. The most widespread uses were insulation, flooring, piping and brake lining.

The greater part of diagnosed cases can be traced back to job-related asbestos exposure. Regardless of the fact that many of the producers of asbestos products were aware of the health risks associated with the material, they kept on mass producing it to maximize their earnings. Countless people who were exposed were not alerted to situation and were never shown the correct ways to avoid exposure.

Other causative aspects to the difficult process of mourning the loss of someone to mesothelioma are the abruptness of the start of noticeable symptoms, diagnosis and the normally poor prognosis. Symptoms of this type of cancer characteristically take 25 to 50 years after primary exposure to begin showing. By this time the cancer is in its later stages and treatment options are usually inadequate. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is about one year.

Clearly when you combine all the factors and circumstances surrounding malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases, it causes quite a few different emotions for both the sufferer and the ones close to them. They may experience anger towards the people who permitted asbestos to be used so extensively with no warning of its undesirable health effects. They may feel aggravated by the typically futile situation mesothelioma presents or shock because of the unexpectedness or rapidity with which the disease progresses.

Persons left behind may deal with these feelings in a number of diverse ways. The anger people feel sometimes inspires them to take legal action against whoever was ultimately responsible for their loved one’s death. The sadness or grief they feel may motivate them to do all they can to raise awareness about this disease to avert further exposure and save the lives of others. Either one of these actions could be seen by the bereaved as a way of “righting the wrong” so to speak.

In general, everyone deals with the same emotions when they lose a loved one, no matter what the situation. But diseases like mesothelioma that can be traced back to the withholding of information for the purpose of making money tend to highlight some of those emotions a little bit more. Always remember that anyone who lets these emotions impede their daily lives may need assistance seeking help from a professional.

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